Quite often in the New Testament we find or notice things which, from our standards, do not seem to count or matter or make sense. One of those things is the first beatitude in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”Matthew 5:3
Literally, “Blessed are the paupers.” In America this may not seem to be a common thing, but for most of the world it is exceedingly common… “paupers,” I mean.
Most preaching in the world today is apt to emphasize stuff like strength of will, beauty of character and all those things which are easily noticed. Volume upon volume of books have been written on the ‘how to’ of this very subject. So often we hear the phrase “decide for Christ” and then we make our attempt. But you see, that phrase and its implication is something the Lord never said or even trusted.
Never did our Lord ask us to decide for him. What he asks, is to yield to him.
Now those are two very different things.
At the basis of Jesus’ statement is the common-place. You see the thing you and I are blessed in is our poverty. If we know that we have no strength of will, no nobility of disposition, and that we are paupers lacking in our own strength and spirit, then Jesus says that we are blessed because it is through his poverty that we enter His kingdom.
We cannot enter God’s Kingdom or expect his blessings on account of being good men and women of God. We can enter only as a pauper.
In the Christian life, the implicit is never conscious. If it is conscious, it ceases to have, what we can call, the touch of Jesus to it. If it is well known and broadcasted as prime example, then it loses its specialness. You can always tell and know when Jesus is at work because he produces in the common place something that is inspiring.
May we all be so blessed.
Yours in Christ, Pastor Jake